Advocate Prashant Bhushan on Friday said that according to Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge a selection committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not discussed or taken a decision to appoint M Nageswara Rao the interim director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Kharge is a member of the panel along with Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. They are expected to choose the next chief of the investigation agency on Friday.
Bhushan, who has challenged the appointment of Rao as the interim chief in the Supreme Court, was responding to Attorney General KK Venugopal’s submission in the Supreme Court on Friday that the selection committee had selected Rao as the interim head of the agency during a meeting on January 10, the same day the committee decided to transfer former CBI chief Alok Verma.
“I have just confirmed personally from the Leader of Opposition [Mallikarjun] Kharge that no discussion or decision in HPC meet was taken regarding appointment of Nageswara Rao as interim director CBI,” Bhushan tweeted. “The government appears to have misled the court and perhaps submitted fabricated minutes of the HPC meeting!”
Bhushan also tweeted images of a letter written by Kharge to Modi, dated January 14, on Verma’s transfer and Rao’s appointment. “The appointment of an interim director (a post that does not legally exist as per the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act) has been made without consulting the selection committee,” the Congress leader had said.
In the letter, Kharge had said the government “seemed to have made up its mind” on appointing an interim director and therefore it was never placed before the selection committee. “The appointment of an interim director is illegal and against Section 4A (1) and 4A(3) of the DSPE Act,” the Congress leader had added.
Bhushan claimed that the government produced minutes of the January 10 meeting in the court, saying that selection committee had approved Rao’s appointment. “Seems government gave fabricated minutes to court! Contempt of Court!” he alleged.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court sent a notice to the Centre on a petition filed by Central Bureau of Investigation officer AK Bassi, who has challenged a transfer order issued by M Nageswara Rao.